Of all the major shifts in media consumption habits that have emerged in recent years, all of which have predominantly been driven by concurrent advances in technology and new devices, that brought about by the tablet is one of the most exciting for the mobile advertising sector.
A key reason for this is the size of the screen, which allows not only high quality advertisements and teasers, but also rich, highly engaging subsequent platforms that brands can drive consumers towards. The scale offered by tablets means that high-resolution games, trailers and other online platforms can not only capture, but most importantly retain customer attention once they have clicked through.
In addition, the successful transition from print to tablet by international publishing brands and media icons such as the Economist, the Financial Times, and the Guardian has merely served to reinforce the perception first-hand of the vast appetite for this new format among the public. The similarity in style between traditional print magazine/newspaper formats and their subsequent transition to big-screen tablet devices has been key to this swift mass adoption; the similar aesthetic of the digital version has proved successful.
However, while the print format and subsequent replication on tablet devices would suggest similar standards might suit measurement models, the mobile advertising industry needs to be mindful of not simply migrating tools from an old medium to a new and wholly different platform. Put simply, the tablet gives marketers so many more opportunities to demonstrate value to clients and brands.
The intrinsic analysis and tracking systems that mobile platforms can deliver give a level of detail never previously possible with print, and the industry needs to ensure that such standards are set out early and adopted widely.
Whereas advertising could previously only speculate using OTS (Opportunities To See) among other rough estimates for printed content, the industry now has specific measurement opportunities on engagement, clickthroughs and even eventual purchases driven through mobile advertising. Such transparency was impossible in print, but should now underpin every mobile campaign, in order to show tangible results to clients.
Once clients start to see the benefits of mobile – benefits which will be reinforced through tangible statistics and analytics – any anxieties or inherent worries about investing their marketing budgets in new platforms and in new formats will be appeased. This will, in turn, drive more investment in the platforms, and thus further opportunity for agencies and marketers to demonstrate the agility and creativity open to brands bold enough to take advantage of the mobile innovations being developed.
The industry must not get ahead of itself however, and must first ensure that the basic foundations for success are laid down early, and accepted across the sector. Establishing universally accepted standards, proven through quality analytics, is crucial for the mobile marketing sector to continue to grow and for brands to successfully migrate their advertising plans to incorporate the innovative platforms now available to them.
Shrikant Latkar is global VP, marketing at InMobi